Year after year, there are overwhelming resources and data that proves it’s smart to move business online. And having an online presence right now is even more important these days due to this pandemic. Because of this reality, it’s important that businesses learn to adapt and change to newer ways of conducting business. That said, moving business online isn’t a revolutionary leap, there are still ample of benefits that make this transition even more appealing.
Here are just some of the handful that come to mind for all businesses to begin having an online presence via a website.
Business Online Will Boost Efficiency
There are many great benefits to having a business online. The first one is that’ll boosts the efficiency of your business in certain cases. For example, say you’re a home improvement company and you’re building and installing windows and doors as one of your services.
I don’t know the full process but I can imagine that traditionally you’ll need to:
- First get a request from a customer and gather what they need and where they’re located.
- Second, go to the residents house to ask for more information and to measure the height and length of the doors and windows.
- Third, get the customer to pick out what sort of designs they want for their new windows and doors.
- Fourth, send them a quote of what it’ll cost.
- Fifth, actually do the work of installing.
To me, it’s a five step process and between all that time, the customer could lose interest (unless it’s necessary that they get replacement windows or doors). Even if they don’t, we’re talking about days it’ll take before you make the actual sale. It doesn’t seem bad at first, but you have to go through this every single time for every customer.
This doesn’t just apply to construction workers but for any business.
As soon as you bring your business online, you can easily delegate those things to customers. With some coding, you can easily create a form that gives quotes automatically based on the information given. You can let the customers do their own measuring and even select some doors and windows from an online catalogue.
In that scenario you turn a five step process into a two-step process. All you need is to get the order, and show up to the person’s house to do the work.
Creates Greater Accessibility
While some people may not be boosting their efficiency as much, being online greatly expands your accessibility. For example, consider for a moment that I didn’t have a website and I wanted to sell my writing services to people. While my efficiency might not be improved for having a website, I will be more easily accessible if I had a website people can go to and see my work.
Regardless of if I was online or not, I’d need people to come to me, get their order and begin work. But the challenging part would be for them come to me in the first place.
If I wasn’t online, I could put up advertisements throughout the town I live in, buy radio ads, or post my work on Craigslist or Kijiji. Aside from Craigslist and Kijiji, those other options can be expensive and may not have as extensive of a reach compared to online.
When you move your business online, you cut your marketing expenses down considerably as you can shift away from constant local advertising around town. You can create a Facebook page and run campaigns there along with Twitter, Instagram, and others. You can gather a local following. And if your business doesn’t always require someone to be physically there, you can expand your reach.
For example, if you work as a consultant or have an accounting firm, you don’t always need to be at the person’s place of business. So long as they’re in the country you live in, you could do the person’s books. And for consultants, you can consult anyone across the world so long as they understand what you’re saying.
All in all, your reach theoretically expands in a massive way.
Builds Relationships Faster
People care a lot about customer service and the relationship that they share with the businesses that they buy from.
This is a concept that many big businesses fail on these days, but it’s something that us small and medium size businesses understand fully and strive to maintain. We need those relationships as losing out on them can prove detrimental to our overall survivability. One loss of a customer can make a massive impact.
Where moving a business online can help is not only can you build more relations, you can build them up faster. One strategy that businesses are doing is running a blog on the side and sharing helpful tips and information. This allows potential customers to go to that company’s site and figure what they need to do to solve a specific problem that they have.
If they find their answer, not only do you save time from taking time to answer their questions, but they also see your company as a valuable source of information. You just helped them solve a problem that they’ve been dealing with for a while.
You can also build relationships faster through online communication. If you’re online, set up a contact page and people can immediately send you emails about various things.
Showcases Products And Services Better
Using traditional marketing tactics, many companies rely on having a physical presence for people within a specific area. Big, recognizable buildings, items placed on specific shelving and so on. Whether you are selling goods or services, you have to put in different kinds of effort in order to showcase those things.
But putting all of it online removes a lot of that aspect and actually makes it easier for you to set up. With tools like WooCommerce, you can move your inventory online and display it in an easy way. You can put in titles for the items in which people can type the item in the search bar and find that specific item. You can even go a step further and indicate which aisle the item is located in if your store is massive enough for that.
In cases of services, you’re able to display it through many ways. If you’re only selling one service with different packages, you can dedicate an entire page or section to talking about your services, what people think of it and why people should hire you for the job. These methods are so much easier than setting aside a huge marketing budget for a short radio ad or an ad in a newspaper.
Business Online Have Lower Start-Up Costs
And on the note of old-school marketing tactics, having a business online will lower your costs. Furthermore, if you don’t even have a business yet, having it all online will cut your costs further. I remember when I first started my writing business I only had to pay the cost for domain registration which comes to about $10-12 a year.
This is in comparison to opening up a writing firm in town. I’d have to put up costs for marketing locally, and potentially renting out a space for me to write if my goal was to meet people in person.
While these aren’t much, I know for others, it can be more significant.
The beauty of being online is that creates a lot of conveniences and removes a lot of the steps. Since those steps require materials or other services, you can cut those out entirely and save money. And who wouldn’t want to be saving money in these instances?
There are other aspects to this to consider as well. For one, if your business is all online, it’s easier to manage. Therefore, you won’t need a large staff or any staff at all to help you. I can attest to that as it’s only been in recent months that I’ve brought on a marketing team to help me in growing my business.
Before then, I was flying solo for almost five years.
Build Your Business Online
I know business owners have their reasons to not go online, however from looking at these benefits, it makes sense to let go of traditional methods and embrace something new. The business landscape has changed drastically and due to this pandemic, businesses understand now how valuable it is to have online aspects to their stores.
If you’re struggling, my suggestion is to develop an online strategy and make the switch. There may be some upfront costs, however it’s well worth the investment considering the potential to recoup the costs quickly and begin thriving again.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon